IMDb > Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Midnight Cowboy
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Midnight Cowboy (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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Midnight Cowboy -- A naive male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City.


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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Waldo Salt (screenplay)
James Leo Herlihy (based on the novel by)
View company contact information for Midnight Cowboy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 June 1969 (Brazil) See more »
Whatever you hear about Midnight Cowboy is true. See more »
A naive male prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 12 nominations See more »
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  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dustin Hoffman ... Ratso

Jon Voight ... Joe Buck

Sylvia Miles ... Cass

John McGiver ... Mr. O'Daniel

Brenda Vaccaro ... Shirley

Barnard Hughes ... Towny

Ruth White ... Sally Buck - Texas

Jennifer Salt ... Annie - Texas
Gilman Rankin ... Woodsy Niles - Texas (as Gil Rankin)

Gary Owens ... Little Joe - Texas
T. Tom Marlow ... Little Joe - Texas
George Eppersen ... Ralph - Texas
Al Scott ... Cafeteria Manager - Texas
Linda Davis ... Mother on the Bus - Texas
J.T. Masters ... Old Cow-Hand - Texas
Arlene Reeder ... The Old Lady - Texas

Georgann Johnson ... Rich Lady - New York
Jonathan Kramer ... Jackie - New York
Anthony Holland ... TV Bishop - New York

Bob Balaban ... The Young Student - New York
Jan Tice ... Freaked-Out Lady - New York
Paul Benjamin ... Bartender - New York
Peter Scalia ... Vegetable Grocer - New York
Vito Siracusa ... Vegetable Grocer - New York
Peter Zamagias ... Hat Shop Owner - New York
Arthur Anderson ... Hotel Clerk - New York
Tina Scala ... Laundromat Lady - New York
Alma Felix ... Laundromat Lady - New York
Richard Clarke ... Escort Service Man - New York
Ann Thomas ... The Frantic Lady - New York
Paul Rossilli ... Hansel McAlbertson - The Party (as Gastone Rossilli)

Viva ... Gretel McAlbertson - The Party
Ultra Violet ... The Party
Paul Jabara ... The Party
International Velvet ... The Party
Cecelia Lipson ... The Party

Taylor Mead ... The Party

Paul Morrissey ... The Party
Joan Murphy ... The Waitress - Florida
Al Stetson ... Bus Driver - Florida
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pat Ast ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Bernice ... Dog Outside Warhol Party (uncredited)
Mary Boylan ... Old Lady in Subway (uncredited)
Philip Bruns ... Man in TV Montage (uncredited)

Randall Carver ... Rapist in Flashback (uncredited)
Marlene Clark ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Robert Dahdah ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
William Door ... Man at Party (uncredited)

Sandy Duncan ... Woman in TV Montage (uncredited)
Trent Gough ... Man at Lunch Counter (uncredited)
Paul Jasmin ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Jay Morran ... Pimp (uncredited)
Waldo Salt ... Joe Pyne on TV Show (uncredited)
Renee Semes ... Hippie in Coffee Shop (uncredited)
Alan Stetson ... Bus Driver Fla (uncredited)
Jeffrey Walker ... Hippie #3 (uncredited)

M. Emmet Walsh ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)

Bill Walters ... St. Bernard Owner (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Schlesinger 
Writing credits
Waldo Salt (screenplay)

James Leo Herlihy (based on the novel by)

Produced by
Jerome Hellman .... producer
Kenneth Utt .... associate producer
Original Music by
John Barry (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Adam Holender (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Hugh A. Robertson (film editor)
Casting by
Marion Dougherty (uncredited)
Production Design by
John Robert Lloyd 
Set Decoration by
Philip Smith  (as Phil Smith)
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Irving Buchman .... make-up
Bob Grimaldi .... hairdressing
Dick Smith .... makeup consultant
Production Management
Fred C. Caruso .... assistant production manager (as Fred Caruso)
Hal Schaffel .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Burtt Harris .... second unit director
Terence A. Donnelly .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Willis Conner .... assistant art director
Edward Garzero .... master scenic artist (as Ed Carzero)
William J. Gerrity .... construction grip
Edward Swanson .... head carpenter (as Ed Swanson)
Sound Department
Vincent Connelly .... sound editor
Jack Fitzstephens .... sound editor
Abe Seidman .... sound
Dick Vorisek .... sound mixer
Stephen Fitzstephens .... foley artist (uncredited)
James Perdue .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Robert Rogow .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Joshua White .... special lighting effects (as Joshua Light Show)
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard C. Kratina .... camera operator (as Dick Kratina)
Norman Leigh .... chief electrician
Michael Mahony .... key grip (as Mike Mahony)
Willie Meyerhoff .... chief electrician
Tom Priestley Jr. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Max Soloman .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Richard P. Cirincione .... assistant editor (as Richard Cirincione)
Keith Parrish .... color timer: new negative (25th anniversary restoration)
Ed Rothkowitz .... assistant editor (as Edward Rothkowitz)
Len Saltzberg .... assistant editor (as Leonard Saltzberg)
Music Department
John Barry .... music supervision
Toxey French .... musical production
Garry Sherman .... arranger and conductor
Toots Thielemans .... musician: harmonica played by (as Jean 'Toots' Thielemans)
Ronald Frangipane .... musician: keyboards (uncredited)
Walter E. Sear .... musician: electronic music, Sear Electronic Music Production (uncredited)
Other crew
Michael Childers .... assistant to the director
Jim Clark .... creative consultant
Pablo Ferro .... graphic effects
Nicholas Sgarro .... continuity (as Nick Sgarro)
Jeff Kanew .... trailer (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Jim B. Smith .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
113 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:18 | Australia:M | Brazil:16 | Canada:18A (Canadian Home Video rating) | Canada:14A (Manitoba) (DVD rating) | Canada:PA (Manitoba) (original rating) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia/Ontario) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Finland:K-15 (new rating: 2001) | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | Italy:VM18 | Japan:PG12 (2010) | Netherlands:12 (re-rating) | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 | Norway:15 (TV rating) | Peru:18 | Portugal:M/16 (Qualidade) | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:15 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) (1988) | USA:TV-MA (TV rating) | USA:X (original rating) | USA:R (re-rating) (1971) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Before Dustin Hoffman auditioned for this film, he knew that his all-American image could easily cost him the job. To prove he could do it, he asked the auditioning film executive to meet him on a street corner in Manhattan, and in the meantime, dressed himself in filthy rags. The executive arrived at the appointed corner and waited, barely noticing the "beggar" less than ten feet away who was accosting people for spare change. At last, the beggar walked up to him and revealed his true identity.See more »
Errors in geography: As the bus Joe Buck rides approaches New York, the view focuses on the Statue of Liberty. However this shot is from the New Jersey Turnpike's Holland Tunnel-Newark Bay Extension (Interchange 14C) going southbound, away from New York. Minutes later in the same scene, the view from the bus shows the Midtown Manhattan skyline as it enters the Lincoln Tunnel.See more »
[first lines]
Joe Buck:Whoopee-tee-yi-yo. Get along little dogies. It's your misfortune and none of my own.
See more »
Movie Connections:
A Famous MythSee more »


What is 'Midnight Cowboy' about?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What was wrong with Ratso?
See more »
94 out of 141 people found the following review useful.
Unique, 23 December 2004
Author: Trimac20 from Australia

The only reason I knew of Midnight Cowboy was because it was in the AFI Critic's Top 100. For a top 100 it is not a very well known movie; indeed, I had to look hard to find a copy, I got the DVD version for about half-price. Surprisingly it was only rated M15+ (the uncut version).

I doubt many will take notice of this review (more like comment) so I'll make it brief.

This is perhaps one of the strangest movies I've seen, partly because of the use of montages, artistic filming (very art-house) and the unusual theme. There are many things in the film I still don't understand (I've seen it twice), and it makes for an emotionally confusing film.

The filming and acting were very good, and it is the larger than life characters which make this film memorable. The main character is Joe Buck, a 'cowboy' from Texas who moves to New York to become a male prostitute. He meets the crippled conman Enrico 'Ratso' Rizzo and, of course they become friends going through the usual escapades. What makes the film interesting is the two characters are so different.

I felt the film didn't really develop the relationship between Buck and Enrico Rizzo for the audience to have any real emotional connection, although the ending is certainly quite sad and tragic. You probably already know what happens by reading the reviews, but its pretty obvious from the start.

I personally think the film beautifully and poignantly explores its main themes. The deprivation of humanity (shown by the darkness of the city streets, the breaking-down tenements). Most of the characters in the film exist beyond the law (a conman, giggolo.etc) yet you can't help liking them. Joe Buck is endearing because he is so naive and optimistic, while we begin to feel pity for Ratso later in the film.

I think the film was rated so high because it was certainly very ground-breaking for its period. At the time (And even now) it was definitely not a typical movie (quite art-house). At a time when the cinema was dominated by tired westerns, musicals and dramas a film with such an unusual theme as Midnight Cowboy pops up.

On a personal level, I must say I quite liked the film. The imagery conveyed a dream-like quality. I particularly liked the scene at the party, the music, images etc stay in your mind for a long time after watching. However, as a movie for entertainment's sake it was a bit lacking (not really my style of movie) in thrills. This is a film to be savoured and appreciated, rather than a cheap thrills action flick.

Although I would hardly consider myself qualified to analyse this film, the characters and their motives were quite interesting. From what I understand from the flashbacks, Joe Buck was sexually abused as a child by his grandmother, although it still doesn't seem to be relevant to the story. He is a happy-go-lucky young stud, who suppresses his darker memories. The religious connotations in the film are also puzzling. Some have suggested a homosexual connection between Buck and Ratso, although I fail to see where they have got the idea from. The theme of homo-sexuality in general is more than touched upon in their conversation, and later in Joe Buck's encounter with a lonely old man, but it has little to do with the main story.

Certainly from a technical point of view one of the finest films of the decade (it has more of a 70s feel to it than a 60s feel) and revolutionary for its time touching on subjects few other films dared to do. While it has a simple, sentimental story to it (disguised by a hard edge) the beauty of the film is in the strange, often psychedelic sequences.

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The top double lead performances ever in American film jrl0726
Ultra Violet, a beauty at the party, died June 14 tremas-1
Best opening scene in movie history Trimac20
Ratso's illness tvcrazeddave
wow only an 8.0 A_gonzo420
Really didn't like this film. mrjoelabs
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